Finally watched Brahman Naman, yet another sex obsessed and CBFC rejected flick from the “I fornicate, therefore I am” school of filmmaking by Q (Qaushiq Mukherjee). But this film is also about quizzing, or rather about deprived quizzers, which why it became a more personal experience for me, irrespective of my reservations about the film.
It is set in 80s Bangalore, that era when nobody had heard of gyms, or six packs, and ill-fitting clothes ruled sartorial standards. We get introduced to Naman (Shashank Arora of Titli fame) who is a Brahmin as the title suggests. He rules the quizzing scene in his college along with his teammates although this stardom does not help him get laid. The good things are reserved for the local cricket star played by Sid Mallya (You know his father). So, the quiz champs just drink in a seedy bar, talk about sex, and hump inanimate objects when they are not busy collecting obscure knowledge (Many will relate to most of these…. but won’t admit).
Irrespective of their horny fantasies, they fumble when they come face to face with attractive women, just like any self-respecting nerd should. They go to Kolkata to participate in a national level contest (conducted by one who looks and sounds like the O’Brien patriarch) and also meet a girl’s team on the train. But no matter what they do, their virginity remains intact!
Q crafts the film in the manner expected of him. There are characters constantly making lewd jokes, obsessing over sex, and there are sequences bordering surrealism too but they never reach the delirious/vulgar/erotic peak of Gandu that made him famous. The action here is mostly limited to the words considering the subject matter. However, the very choice of topic probably will also alienate the film from a larger audience. Those who are not familiar with the world of hardcore quizzing will probably not get the emotions at stake here.
Also, I was not sure about the caste angle in this film and somewhat forced and repetitive mentions by the protagonist about him being a Brahmin. May be the makers were trying to make a social commentary but let me tell you, non-Brahmin quizzers never became Casanovas either.